Clay Neely / The Newnan Times-Herald
The combined efforts of Nick Lott, Jared Dorsey and Rafael Coggins helped rescue a child from a burning house and minimize the damage from an attic fire.
The cooler heads of an HVAC team led to the timely rescue of a 12-year-old from a house fire.
On Thursday afternoon, employees of Reliable Heating and Air were busy installing an HVAC unit at a home on Plantation Drive.
With the arrival of summer temperatures, the busy crew took a lunch break in their truck.
Installation manager Nick Lott was turning off some equipment when he noticed a faint odor, almost described as burning leaves.
When they unloaded the truck, they saw smoke filling the air, so they began to investigate its origin.
Around the corner of the building they saw flames coming from the top of the house next door.
Lott immediately called 911 while crew members Rafael Coggins and Jared Dorsey ran to the house and started knocking on the door.
After several minutes of banging, they were greeted by the sight of a 12-year-old boy rubbing his eyes after waking up from a nap.
“We explained what was going on and he wanted to run back in to get his cat,” said Lott. ‘We told him there was no time and it would be fine. We just had to get him out of the house. You never know if there is a gas line or something that can blow. ”
Firefighters arrived on site and were able to quickly control and extinguish the fire, which appeared to be coming from a fan in the attic, said Newnan fire chief Stephen Brown.
“We were lucky enough to get there on time, get the hang of it and get it out of the closet quickly,” said Brown. “The whole operation went smoothly, hardly any smoke damage as it all stayed in the attic.”
Brown, however, the situation could have been dire, given the nature of attic fires.
“We hate those attic fires,” said Brown. ‘If it was at night it could have taken a while for someone to notice and once they get up and running it can be really hard to get them under control. Timing played an important role here. ”
Brown said the damage from the fire was relatively minimal and no one was injured, including the cat.
For Lott and the HVAC crew, it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time so that a bad situation didn’t get much worse.
“I’m pretty good under pressure,” Lott said.